I’ve never really liked love stories. I tolerate them if they’re ensconced in an otherwise really good murder mystery, but I avoid them on their own. I’ve never been a fan of cheesy Hallmark or Lifetime movies about love. I like romantic comedies, but not as much as other genres. I read and enjoyed Twilight but thought the love story was a little much. I just never felt like the stories were real. They never felt like a genuine love story to me. Growing up, I didn’t have any shining examples of love either. My parents hated each other, my one set of grandparents hated each other too and I just didn’t see any great examples of love stories in my circle. I guess everything in books and movies just felt fake and I knew, even at a young age, that that was not what true love was really like. I knew it wasn’t peaches and cream complexions and sweet sentiments all day long.
But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’d be one of the stars in a great love story of my own.
I will say this until the day I die, but I’m not sure what I did to deserve Matt. I am so thankful for him and our life together. We definitely aren’t a “peaches and cream” love story, but I will tell you we’re real. We fight, we have days where we don’t like each other very much, we get impatient with each other, we get annoyed by each other. But through it all, we love each other. Deeply.
Not very many marriages have to weather as many storms as we have in our almost-20-years together. We were so young when we got married. We had a miscarriage. We had a daughter born with severe and rare special needs. We had a son 13 short months later. We had major health scares with our youngest son. We’ve been laid off. We’ve been without work. We’ve been scraping by. I’ve had depression and, now, cancer. We’ve been through a lot and, thank God, we always come out stronger and more in love, even when that didn’t seem possible.
It’s crazy to me. I don’t know how I ended up in this great love story, but I’m so very glad I did. Matt has been, of course, amazing through all of this cancer business. He holds me when I’m having a breakdown, he brings me things to cheer me up, he rubs my aching bones, he brings me medicine, he helps even more around the house, he does absolutely everything he can and then some. I couldn’t ask for more. Even when you’re sure you married the right person, you’re not sure until you see how everyone holds up under difficult circumstances. We’ve held up better than I could have imagined, thank God.
I am so very thankful that he let me borrow that sweatshirt 20 years ago and asked me to be his wife. Our marriage is the thing I’m most proud of in my life. I couldn’t love him more. It’s hard to put into words, but I hope I’ve paid tribute to the greatest person I’ve ever known. I hope.